James Rapien

James Rapien

James Rapien came to talk sports and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.Full Bio


10 prospects to watch for on Saturday

Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin – He had 21 passes defensed last season, but he didn't register any interceptions (I'm having flashbacks to Johnathan Joseph's rookie season with the Bengals). His name has come up in conversation a lot, which leads me to believe the Bengals might be higher on him than others across the league. Nelson could be in play for the Bengals in rounds 4-5. He would give them a nickel corner who could sit and learn behind Darqueze Dennard.

Shaquem Griffin, OLB, Central Florida – Most of us know Griffin's story by now. He only has one hand, but that doesn't mean he won't have success in the NFL. He's a good athlete, who made his fair share of plays in college and will likely contribute on special teams as a rookie. I expect a team to pick him in rounds 5-6. 

Tyrell Crosby, OL, Oregon – The Bengals need another offensive lineman, so why not take a guy who was supposed to be drafted by now? Crosby is far from a perfect prospect, but he would offer nice value in the fourth round. He's a big, strong offensive linemen that could develop into a starter. 

Jamarcus Jones, OL, Ohio State – Why not take another player from Ohio State? Jones started all 14 games at left tackle for the Buckeyes in 2017. He's a solid lineman, but doesn't project to be a starter in the NFL. I could see the Bengals considering Jones in the fifth round.

Korey Cunningham, OL, Cincinnati – Why not keep 'Big Country' in Cincinnati? Cunningham is a mountain of a man and might be worth a flier in round seven. The Bengals got to see him in person multiple times during this process and it wouldn't shock me if they took a flier on him with one of their final picks.

Genard Avery, LB, Memphis – Avery was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference performer in 2017. He registered 80 tackles, 22 for loss and 8.5 sacks. He doesn't project to be a star in the NFL, but I could see the Bengals taking another linebacker on day three. Avery would fit the bill. 

Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State – Sweat is still available because of medical concerns. He will get picked at some point early on day three. He's too talented to continue to fall. I think he could be in play for the Bengals with pick 112. Last season Sweat made 12 starts, posting 56 tackles, 12.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, with three breakups. The idea of landing Sweat after drafting Sam Hubbard may not make sense to some, but I wouldn't argue with them drafting another pass rusher with a lot of upside like Sweat. 

Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida – Callaway is the wildcard in this draft. He has a ton of athletic ability and is one of the most talented wide receivers in this draft. He has the quickness and speed that teams look for. Unfortunately, he's had his fair share of issues off-the-field. He faced a sexual assault trial the summer before his sophomore year but was cleared of those charges. He was also cited for marijuana possession in May of last year. Calloway never played in a game last season because of his involvement in a credit card fraud scheme with other teammates. He also tested positive for marijuana at the combine. EVEN with that type of history, I think a team will consider drafting him. The Bengals have three picks in the seventh round – they might as well take a talented, but troubled player, right?

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame – St. Brown is a tall, lanky wide receiver with speed. He's 6'5" tall and 214 pounds. He led Notre Dame in receiving in 2016 with 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine touchdowns. He has a gigantic catch radius and could be on the Bengals' radar on day three. 

Deon Cain, WR, Clemson – The Bengals love taking a flier on a player with size and speed. Cain ran a 4.43 40-yard dash. He is 6'2" tall and 202 pounds. He was a big factor in Clemson's win over Alabama in the 2016 National Championship – he had five receptions for 94 yards. 

Other prospects they may consider: Quarterbacks – Kyle Lauletta, Mike White, Logan Woodside and Quinton Flowers are players to watch. Some offensive linemen worth monitoring are Will Richardson and Toby Weathersby.


Learn more about who the Bengals picked on day two of the draft below: 

The Bengals picked Jesse Bates III in the second round. For highlights, analysis and more go here.

The Bengals picked Sam Hubbard and Malik Jefferson in the third round. For highlights, analysis and more go here.

My thoughts on the Bengals picking Billy Price with the 21st overall pick. 

My interview with Joe Goodberry of The Athletic on Price and day two of the draft.

They Bengals got better, even if they reached in round one.

We talked with Billy Price after the Bengals drafted him.

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Email Me: JamesRapien@ESPN1530.com

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